Hello. Your good buddy DKL here, back to report what the judges have told me they want to see from the contestants this week. But first, I have something to say about your cakewalk assignment this week: Superheroes? Really? How cool is THAT? Consider yourselves lucky, Top 9. We had vampires last year. That's right. A day in the life of our family as if we were VAMPIRES. Real cute, Little Miss Twilight-Lover Heather. We all nearly revolted. (Here is my vampire post from last year.)
Your assignment is so much cooler than ours was. And the judges are super psyched to read what you put together. All of our judges are returning for their second go-around of judging this week, including our guest judge. So let's get right to what they're thinking:
One of them knows a thing or two about superheroes. He's the Sooperdad, and here's what he says:
"Being semi-well versed in superheroedness (It's a word, Mrs. C., Trust me.), I'm looking for originality. Invisibility, flying, super speed are great powers, but somewhat trite. Like the hipsters of the superhero universe. Again, grammar doesn't concern me as much as spelling. KEEP MY ATTENTION. I have a short attention span. So make your post interesting! Funny, heartfelt, intelligent, toilet humor, it doesn't matter. As long as it's interesting. (To ME, because I know everyone's tastes are different. Like Daddy's In Charge prefers double malt scotch, but Wildflowers & Whimsy likes moonshine. I just like cheeseburgers.) Good luck contestants!"
Our guest judge this week is the one and only Tara from You Know It happens at Your House Too. I was sneaky the last time she judged, and didn't share her insights. I won't do that to you this time:
"I still want to be entertained. I am not the grammar police. I know I don't always use proper grammar. So I don't feel it would be fair to judge others on that fact alone. (Damn, are you sure I'm qualified to do this?) It doesn't mean I am not looking at it. We all know it is important, but it is not the most important part of a great blog for me. I want to be entertained. I want to feel as if I am sitting in the room with the writer and they are telling me the story. I would hope that the contestants would take into consideration any constructive criticisms that are offered, mainly because it's part of this competition.
This week I would hope to get to know the contestants and their families. I think this assignment offers so many openings for greatness and hilarity. I truly hope to see some incredible creativity, not just a replay of a Disney Movie."
Tessa Taboo, the potty mouth who is not afraid to be brutally honest, also has high expectations this week:
"Superheroes should be powerful. I want to see something that shows your super power. I don't want to see nine stories about how your super power is raising children, or something like that. This is a chance to take the reader on a kryptonite-infused journey of your day. I also think that pictures could make or break the posts this week. A small piece of advice: It only takes a minute to read your post out loud before you are done, but it could be the thing that saves you."
I totally agree with her last point, because I gave you the same advice last week. (Did you read it? Are you listening?)
Next, my sweet and snarky friend Roni, The Mommy-In-Law is pulling back-to-back judging duty and it turns out she's more sweet than snark (I could have told you that):
"After judging last week, I realized how much I hate being a judge. I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Especially when it comes to something as personal as their writing. But, I signed up for it. So I've got no choice. I went in expecting to be Simon but quickly learned I was more of a Randy... not too mean, not too nice.
This week I'm looking for creativity (as always). This is a hard topic (I know because I had to do this myself last year). Make me laugh, people! Or cry! Or think. Catch my attention! Can't wait to read them.Lisa, The Spaghetti Westerner, is arguably the nicest judge of all of us. She's back to be nice to you again this week. But don't be fooled by her kind critiques. She was right up there leading the revolt against the vampire nonsense that was thrown at us last year. (Roni too.) You've also got Chris, ...from the Bungalow. He's the guy who's going to count the spaces between your sentences but give you arguably the most honest, detailed, and helpful constructive criticism out of the bunch.
Now for the DKL Tip of the Week: It's about getting votes. You know what I did? I personally emailed all of my close family and friends with the link. Both days. Every week. And I have a gigantic Italian family. I did it at work too. Both days. I work at a major television network, and THIS is what I was emailing almost EVERYONE two days out of the week. I totally admitted I was being annoying. But I promised them my undying love. And in the case of my co-workers, I promised them cookies. Don't be too proud to beg. Just know that your followers might find it annoying. Being entertaining and creative with them (and admitting you're being a little annoying) is key.
I hope you all embrace this assignment and make this very hard on the judges. Until next week, may the judges' scores and the votes be ever in your favor.